Chat with Scott Powers
Welcome to ESPNChicago.com! On Friday, Chicago Blackhawks beat reporter Scott Powers stops by to chat.
Powers, who joined ESPNChicago.com in 2009, covers the Blackhawks for both ESPN Radio 1000 and ESPNChicago.com. He is an award-winning reporter who has been reporting on sports of all levels, from preps to pros throughout the Midwest since 1997.
Send your questions now and join Powers Friday at noon CT/1 p.m. ET!
Scott Powers (1:02 PM)
Hi all, hope everyone is having a good Friday. I'm out in Los Angeles. The Blackhawks practice later this afternoon. I plan to be here for 30-plus minutes today. Let's get started.
What is the one thing that needs to change for the Hawks going from Game 2 to Game 3? How much of an impact will Shaw be in this game?
Scott Powers (1:04 PM)
Scott, Shaw brings some stability to that third line and a net-front presence on the power play. That third line has especially struggled against the Kings. I think his addition could be key. As for changes, I wouldn't say there are a lot of them needed. Cutting down on the penalties would be one that stands out. Those back-to-back power-play goals were big in Game 2.
Taylor (San Marcos, TX)
Is Patrick Sharp ready for a hot streak to start soon? We need it!
Scott Powers (1:06 PM)
Taylor, history would say yes. He has rarely gone through struggles like this. He's getting the shots and some have been quality, especially the breakaways. One element that worked against him in the last game was playing on that third line. They didn't have the puck much.
Wally Springfield, Il [via mobile]
Questions starting to service as to Sharp being injured. Can't seem to get a hard shot off. Anything on Sharp's status.
Scott Powers (1:08 PM)
Wally, I've heard the same thing, but he says he's fine, and he is still getting shots off. He had a real hard shot from the point on a power play in the last game, so I'm not sure that's it. I've been looking to see if his game has changed, and I don't see it being impacted. He's had some quality chances on net, especially with a handful of breakwaways, and just hasn't converted them.
Please tell me that Bollig will sit with Shaw coming back. Regin brings much more to the table.
Scott Powers (1:09 PM)
Adam, not sure yet. I could see Bollig, Versteeg or Regin getting scratched when Shaw returns. We should have a better idea during practice today.
Why don't the Hawks go with more skill, and demote Bollig to healthy scratch status? Regin and Versteeg provide the Hawks with speed. A 4th line of Regin, Smith, and Versteeg provides another dimension to the Hawks offense.
Scott Powers (1:11 PM)
Jamie, part of it is Quenneville isn't looking for much offense from that fourth line. He's looking for defense, and he may keep Bollig-Kruger-Smith together for that reason.
With Shaw coming back, many people believe Regin will be the odd man out. But I think he's played well and deserves to stay in the lineup. Why not have Shaw take his spot on the 3rd line and move Regin to the 4th line in Bollig's spot? Regin won't have to take as many face-offs, but he's good enough defensively to work on that line.
Scott Powers (1:13 PM)
Al, Regin has played fine and probably deserves to play, though his faceoffs weren't great last game, but Quenneville doesn't always see it that same way. I think part of it depends on how Quenneville feels about that fourth line. If he wants to keep it together, Regin or Versteeg could be out. If he's willing to shake up the fourth line, Bollig is more likely out.
Rich (New Jersey)
Hi Scott - The Blackhawks led the game for 38 minutes and 14 sections then the Kings scored 6 unanswered goals, what changes does Joel Quenneville address for game 3 versus the LA Kings ?
Scott Powers (1:15 PM)
Rich, I think he addresses their focus. The first Kings goal was due to lack of support by the forwards. The second and third goals were due to less-than-smart penalties. The fourth goal happened because Leddy and Rozsival stopped playing because they thought the puck was going out of play.
Ed (Queens Village)
One word to describe Blackhawks 3rd period on Wed?
Scott Powers (1:15 PM)
Ed, I thought Quenneville described it pretty well as a "disaster."
Neil (Fresno, CA)
Scott, you think Brookbank will be back in for Rozy?
Scott Powers (1:18 PM)
Neil, I don't think so. I thought Rozsival was okay last game, and he's been better since he was sat in the Wild series. Brookbank's wife just had a kid yesterday, so I'm not sure if he's here today.
Ross (WI) [via mobile]
What do the Blackhawks need to do to avoid another game 2?
Scott Powers (1:19 PM)
Ross, one thing the Blackhawks can do is capitalize on more of their chances. They could have had 4-5 goals in the first few periods. They needed to put Game 2 away when they had the chance.
Martha (Oak Park IL)
Who will Coach Q sit with Shaw back in the lineup?
Scott Powers (1:20 PM)
Martha, it'll probably be Regin, Versteeg or Bollig.
Genovese (San Diego, CA)
Hey Scott - I'm planning on heading up to the game in LA tomorrow. What is one thing I should be looking for the Hawks to improve on? I think they need to step up as if someone stole their skim milk.
Scott Powers (1:22 PM)
Mike, I would say putting away those Grade A chances and cutting down on the penalties. I feel like Kane is on the verge of scoring with the way he's possessed the puck and the time he's had. And, yes, no one likes it when they steal their skim mile.
prediction for the game 3 score?
Scott Powers (1:23 PM)
Sarah, no prediction, but odds are against the Blackhawks. They haven't won a series road opener in their last nine series.
Think the hawks will split?
Scott Powers (1:25 PM)
Adem, I could see that. The Blackhawks have a history of winning on the road at some point in a series. They've done it in the last 12 series.
What's up with Hossa...need to get him going too!
Scott Powers (1:28 PM)
Carey, Hossa's played well. He doesn't have the scoring numbers, but he's created a number of chances for other players and the assists have been there. He's also still playing well on the defensive end and is among the league's leaders in takeaways.
Scott, at what point does Q realize Handzus skating with Kane is a detriment? Especially with LA collapsing 2 guys on Kane and forcing him to give up the puck. Handzus should be on line 4.
Scott Powers (1:30 PM)
Ryan, I know this is a common gripe, and I understand why, but it's not likely that Quenneville is going to change that. He likes Handzus there for his defense. I did feel like Saad and Kane played well together and created some additional chances. Your second-line center wish may not come until next season with Teravainen.
Steve mn [via mobile]
Scott Who do think will not be back next year?
Scott Powers (1:31 PM)
Steve, Handzus, Regin and Brookbank will be gone. Raanta, Morin and Smith are restricted free agents.
gee davis (chgo-beverly)
Scott there has been "HINTS" that Sharpie might be injured.IS he? Hard to believe he has regressed as much he has.Or maybe it's the line combo's? Your thoughts?
Scott Powers (1:33 PM)
Gee Davis, yeah, I'm not sure about the injury. I know that's what a lot of people are saying now. I would tend to believe it more if he wasn't creating chances, including some quality ones. He also doesn't look like he's holding back on his shot. I do think being on the third line isn't going to help him break out of his funk sooner.
A lot of people asking about sitting Bollig. My question is why he doesnt seem to get into Q's dog house. Other players (Leddy) seem to do far less wrong and draw his ire
Scott Powers (1:34 PM)
Bob, I feel like it's about level of expectation. Quenneville understands what Bollig's limits are. He expects less from him than Leddy. Just as he expects more of Keith than Leddy.
Mark (Olympia Fields)
How much per year will Toews and Kane sign for? Gonna happen this summer/8 yrs. apiece? Seems like if they wait a year might have more money if cap goes up
Scott Powers (1:36 PM)
Mark, I would think they'll be shooting for $10 million or more each. The Blackhawks would certainly like to get it done this summer, and I think Toews would be okay with that, but I don't think Kane is in a rush. Their agent -- Pat Brisson -- will certainly have a good handle of where the cap will go before he begins negotations.
What time is practice today? I need to brace myself for your tweet with 52 still on the fourth line. In all seriousness, is there a reason you can see that Q will sit Morin after a bad penalty and plant Leddy to the bench after letting Toffoli get behind him (see Game 1), but Bollig was right back out there after that idiotic penalty at the beginning of the 3rd? Hawks now 6-5 with Bollig in the lineup, 3-0 without him.
Scott Powers (1:38 PM)
Nate, practice will be at 3:30 Central. I don't see Leddy sitting. You need his speed against the Kings. As for Bollig, I could see him out if Quenneville is willing to break up that fourth line again.
Lot's of Bollig hate today huh Scott..
Scott Powers (1:38 PM)
Kat, nothing new and probably will be there for two more seasons with his extension.
Ben Smith had chemistry with Kane in round 1 and provides solid 2 way play. To neutralize your best offensive asset is idiotic.
Scott Powers (1:40 PM)
Ryan, I get your points. Smith was effective at times on that second line, and he does give the Blackhawks much more speed alongside Kane on that line. Quenneville did move Smith back up on that seeond line in the third period in Game 2, so maybe he gives it a look again.
What is the one stat that I can argue with my LA friends regarding the Hawks that they can't possibly counter punch?!
Scott Powers (1:42 PM)
Jim, there isn't one I can think of now. Maybe give a look at the by the numbers stories I've doing throughout the playoffs. There might be one you can grab. Sorry about that.
Scott Powers (1:43 PM)
Thanks again for all the questions today. I hope to be back to doing the chat on Thursday next week. As always, feel free to email me at firstname.lastname@example.org if you have a question. Have a good weekend.